• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

The hope of a new Nigeria is not in vain!

The hope of a new Nigeria is not in vain!

Hope is not a common virtue to come by. The socio-economic and political situation in 21st century Nigeria do not offer any chances of hope, betterment, recovery or growth. Hardworking Nigerians are at a very high risk of committing suicides because achievable goals are no longer feasible nor practicable. This could be seen in the young female banker who took her life recently in the bank in Lagos alleging hardship, difficulty and hopelessness.

Owing to the illegality, stigma and isolation, the present suicide surge in the country is under reported and many Nigerians are worried. Stressors like enduring unemployment, job loss, divorce, separation, economic crunch are killing many Nigerians which makes it hard to believe that there is a government in the country even with the ‘Renewed Hope’ mantra.

Critically, there is an urgent necessity to transform Nigeria through rebirth and re-enactment of hope in the new generation. What is old, outdated, obsolete must be done away with to pave room for a new Nigeria. Radical and violent spirits had advocated a complete system overhaul even putting every politician to atrophy for a new crop of leaders to emerge. The emergence of a new Nigeria will be a struggle, battle and an intense fight between those who sold out Nigeria and the foreign powers that have bought over Nigeria impoverishing the inhabitants.

A ‘New Nigeria’ represents more than hope; it signifies growth, development, and improvement across various facets.

Amidst challenging economic conditions, with $1 exchanging for ₦1,400 and essential commodities priced exorbitantly, negative indicators have eroded hope among Nigerians. Since May 2015, a change initiative brought economic decline under a Fulani president, exacerbated by the Central Bank’s illegality and embezzlement. It’s crucial to highlight the potential for restoration, hope, and positive change to counter the current atmosphere of economic distress and despair.

Nigeria gained independence in October 1960, but by July 1966, a military coup alleged corruption, setting off a series of military regimes spanning the second to the third republic. Northern leaders dominated, leading to notions of Northern oligarchy or Fulani hegemony. Despite brief civilian rule in 1979, military coups persisted in the 1980s, fueled by leaders’ insatiable greed for wealth. This desire for wealth persists among some leaders today.

A ‘New Nigeria’ represents more than hope; it signifies growth, development, and improvement across various facets. This vision emphasises economic, political, scientific, technological, diplomatic, and educational progress. Leadership in the new Nigeria embodies competence, commitment, empathy, compassion, and consolidation. Unlike the focus on corruption or insecurity, the emphasis is on ensuring economic prosperity, social justice, and peaceful coexistence for all Nigerians, with leaders dedicated to improving lives and national fortunes.

In Nigeria, the current state hinders progress, showcasing regression, stagnation, and widespread failures. Basic necessities, like a loaf of bread, are exorbitantly priced. Addressing issues such as leadership, governance, economy, and social factors is crucial for citizens’ well-being. Unfortunately, hope is dimmed by pervasive issues, and potential progress is stifled by notorious and criminal governance, silencing the voices of progressive Nigerians amid widespread disillusionment.

Tactically, we do not need international support for a new Nigeria; it’s the wish of Nigerians for Nigerians and by Nigerians. The foreign involvement in Nigeria’s development had impoverished the citizens, promoting corruption, embezzlement and conflicts. The Police Force is a shadow of itself and very soon, the army scattered at every checkpoint would be dominated. Integrity will not be a test for leaders in new Nigeria for they would render selfless service to their fatherland.

Historically, Nigeria’s political leadership has been marked by showmanship. In the 1970s, post-civil war, regional allocations were diverted to key players before reaching their intended destinations, hindering development. Similar patterns emerged with figures like Ukpabi Asika and Chris Ngige, exemplifying the misuse of resources. Nyesom Wike is accused of following this path in River state, assuming a role akin to a political father.

The task of reclaiming Nigeria for the youth is paramount, with the civil society playing a supporting role. Empowering the youth is crucial for their dedicated involvement in shaping the new Nigeria. Despite challenges, Peter Obi embraces the vision, emphasising its realisation with or without him. Acknowledging divine timing, it underscores the need to wait when faced with darkness after receiving a vision, as God orchestrates its fruition in the leader’s life.

Amidst seemingly irreversible challenges, a vision of a new Nigeria emerges, challenging the prevailing despair. Acknowledging the complexity of societies, it calls for introspection by those perpetuating doom in Nigeria. The vision promises renewal, revival, and comfort, discouraging futile comparisons with other nations. Historical examples caution against complacency. The focus is on transcending blame games and fostering a vision whose time has come, steering Nigeria towards a prosperous future.

Reflecting on our political leaders’ foolishness, despite admiration for their role in shaping the nation, parallels are drawn to the Titanic’s ill-fated journey. The Atiku, Kwankwaso, and Obi alliance may signal progress, but optimism is clouded by uncertainty. Overcoming self-defeating thoughts is crucial for the realisation of a new Nigeria, focused on youth development and productivity, contrasting with today’s Nigeria that stifles aspirations. Leadership has reduced a naturally gifted nation to citizens begging for bread.

Finally, let’s not lose hope. A lot of folks had believed that Nigeria would never get better. Our minds may not be deceiving us by following the predicates on the ground. So many have alibis and excuses to abandon Nigeria to the doldrums. One Nigeria is redeemable. The vision of a new Nigeria is not an Igbo agenda. Nigeria may not eventually collapse due to leadership failure rather there’s hope for her children. We must keep hope alive by participating in civil matters that would usher in a new Nigeria. Renewing the face of hardship, suffering gives no hope to Nigerians rather the emergence of a new Nigeria will bring solace, succour to many wounded hearts.

Obiotika Wilfred Toochukwu; St. Anthony’s Catholic Comprehensive Institute: Agulu – Anambra State.